- Doesn’t play well with others?
- Binge drinks a couple times a year?
- Has PTSD from an accident?
- Married his ex-sister in law?
Part of my job involves doing “exec checks” on pastors interviewing to serve around here. I contact my counterpart where those pastors are currently serving and ask about red flags.
As the pastoral candidate gets closer to being called to a church, there will be other checks: DMV, financial, criminal, theological, “fitness.” But in the initial check I’m looking for immediate deal breakers.
Here’s what I usually ask:
- Are there any red flags? (Seems like a good, basic opening.)
- Is this a happy person? (I don’t care if a person has bad days or even depression. But how is this person’s general disposition?)
- What does he/she do to serve beyond his/her local congregation? (Tells me if the pastor collaborates with others in the wider Church or in the community.)
- Is this person teachable? (Knows-it-all-already pastors tend to be poor leaders for a 21st Century Church.)
- Is there anything else we need to know about this pastor? (This would be a good time to tell me she’s got an unaddressed addiction or he burned down the manse.)
[Important note: Someone is my position can’t truly be a “pastor to pastors” if I also do “exec checks.” What if I have information shared during a pastoral moment, and I’m asked a question about that issue during an exec check? Boundary problem.]
My question, actually, is: What Would You Consider a Red Flag for a Pastor? Does it depend on the context? The pastor’s age? The pastor’s marital status? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.
What should I be asking during Exec Checks? I’d love to hear your thoughts. What would you want to know about your future pastor?